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UK: New breathalyser could detect cancer in early stage

3 January 2019 18:15

LONDON. KAZINFORM A new breathalyser test could soon become the earliest cancer detection tool as a trial of a new device has started in the U.K.

The new Breath Biopsy device, which was designed to detect cancer signs in molecules exhaled by patients, is now in trial at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, according to local media, including Sky News.

If the trial is successful, cancer could be detected in early stages and many more lives could be saved through treatment, Anadolu Agency reports.

The first patients in the two-year-long trial are those with suspected oesophageal and stomach cancers and 1500 people, some of whom are cancer patients but some are healthy, will be recruited by the hospital.

The tests will later be extended to those suspected to have prostate, kidney, bladder, liver and pancreatic cancers.

"The concept of providing a whole-body snapshot in a completely non-invasive way is very powerful and could reduce harm by sparing patients from more invasive tests they don't need," said Billy Boyle, co-founder and chief executive of British company Owlstone Medical, which is behind the device.

"We urgently need to develop new tools, like this breath test, which could help to detect and diagnose cancer earlier, giving patients the best chance of surviving their disease," according to the lead investigator Rebecca Fitzgerald, a professor at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre.

"Through this clinical trial we hope to find signatures in breath needed to detect cancers earlier. It's the crucial next step in developing this technology."